- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 21, 2000

The red states

"As they did during the right-wing lynch mob's attempt to impeach our president, the American people are showing their usual good judgment… . So pay no attention to the hot-air boys who are trying to railroad this election for their man Bush… .

"Mike Barnicle … held up the USA Today map of how every county in America voted. There was a sea of Bush red across the South, Midwest and Rocky Mountains with Gore blue hugging the coasts… .

"But if you look closely at that map you see a more complex picture. You see the state where James Byrd was lynch-dragged behind a pickup truck until his body came apart it's red. You see the state where Matthew Shepard was crucified on a split-rail fence for the crime of being gay it's red. You see the state where right-wing extremists blew up a federal office building and murdered scores of federal employees it's red. The state where an Army private who was thought to be gay was bludgeoned to death with a baseball bat, and the state where neo-Nazi skinheads murdered two African-Americans because of their skin color, and the state where Bob Jones University spews its anti-Catholic bigotry: they're all red too."

Democratic strategist Paul Begala, writing on "Banana Republicans," Nov. 13 on the MSNBC Web site at www.msnbc.com

Teen surfers

"Want to know where teens like to surf? The following Web sites are ranked tops by the 12-to-17-year-old members of the Zandie Group Consumer Panel, a nationwide network of more than 3,000 young people between the ages of 8 and 24.

"Boys: Yahoo!, eBay, WWF, Candystand, MTV, NBA, Hotmail, ESPN, Nintendo, Stickdeath, Videogames, WCW, Bored, Playboy, Playstation;

"Girls: Yahoo!, MTV, 'Nsync, Hotmail, Abercrombie & Fitch, Backstreet Boys, Teen magazine, Delia's, Seventeen magazine, Lyrics, Napster, Alloy, Blue Mountain, Cosmogirl, Gurl."

from "Catch a Wave" in the Oct. 23 issue of Publisher's Weekly

Culture in decline

" 'From Dawn to Decadence' is long, erudite and … important. In what is probably the last major book in a long and celebrated career, French-born Jacques Barzun writes about the West with an eye to understanding why, as he puts it, 'the culture of the past 500 years is ending.' …

"He says that long before we scour the Third World for scraps to add to the cultural canon, we should rediscover the neglected masterpieces of our own culture. He is disgusted by ritual denunciations of the West and calls the reign of political correctness a modern-day Inquisition… .

"Barzun has no faith in universal solutions because he understands people are unequal… . He notes much jabber about the search for excellence, especially in public schools, but finds that 'at the same time the society pounces on any show of superiority as elitism.'

" 'Observers spoke of the decline of authority,' he writes, 'but how could it survive in a company of equals?' He points out that most people are nobodies, not because they are 'oppressed' but because of their 'modest powers.' He has no time for coddling and excuse-making: 'Finding oneself was a misnomer: a self is not found but made.' …

"We have witnessed the birth of what is almost a new species: 'Modern Man looks forward, a born future-ist, thus reversing the old presumption about ancestral wisdom and the value of prudent conservation. It follows that whatever is old is obsolete, wrong, dull, or all three,' Barzun writes. Entertainment becomes the chief goal in life for many people."

Thomas Jackson, writing on "What has caused our decline?" in the December issue of American Renaissance

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